There is a new coach in town


Rich Bennett

Coach Gudgel explains the Fremont course to varsity runner Zack Lundberg

Nicholas Aus, Sports Manager

Being the new kid can be scary. Being the new coach for a bunch of kids can be down right heart stopping. Besides that Mark Gudgel is taking that task head on.

Gudgel is a new teacher here at North. He teaches both English and Humanities. During his interview for the teaching spot he asked a very important question “Are there any coaching spots available?”

He came out with two new coaching jobs, Woman’s Basketball and Cross country. He is co-coaching right now for Cross Country. Gudgel ran Cross Country in high school and knew a lot about it, so he was already knowledgeable about running.

James Ahern, the prior coach, had coached the team along the side of the head coach Steven Steinbruck for 13 years. For some runners the change in coaches was a surprise.

Senior Cross country athletes, Emma Landis and Joe Nash have ran for both Ahern and Gudgle. Even though, both coaches motivate the team, Landis misses Ahern’s encouraging talks. Nash says that both coaches Ahern and Gudgel worked the team to get better.

Nash feels like Gudgel is more laid back; as many runners say Ahern “was a crazy but very motivational guy”. Landis says “it’s a good addition to the team, but it is sad to not have Ahern anymore.”

Ahern had to leave his coaching position because his wife had a girl named Isadora and needed more attention at home after school. Ahern happily gave the baby the attention she needed.

He misses coaching and said he would go back in a heartbeat if he had the time for it. He loves talking to the runners and, says he really misses them.

Gudgel really likes North so far and loves coaching. So far the (very young team) is really cohesive. He loves seeing the runners improve themselves and believes there will be a lot of runners medaling at the end of the year.

His goals for this year are to get better, get more competitive, to work on the little things, and to enjoy themselves. He, like many other coaches, believes that, “you’re a student first and an athlete second, because getting an education is important”.

Ahern said that the runners run at least 20-30 miles a week, not including races. Both Ahern and Gudgel believe that in running you need a lot of mental strength and endurance but, anyone can run.

Both Ahern and Gudgel has advice for freshmen runners or people who thinking about it. Ahern says “don’t skip practice and run with friends, make running fun”. Gudgel says “Stick it out running may hurt but it will improve you life, do it for your team and to do it for yourself”.

Both agree that running is fun and a big part of your life, and both loves coaching the North Vikings.